You may have already had a talk with a character in costume, coming from the past, while visiting a museum or a castle. You may have thought it was Re-enactment or Living Historyhellip;or some sort of interesting live event. If it was entertaining but made you think and got you involved, then you are likely to have experienced live interpretation.
Live Interpretation (or museum theatre) has gained recognition in the heritage industry in the US and UK for over 20 years. It uses theatre techniques, focuses on the public and the emotions, and is very effective to transmit knowledge in a friendly way.
You may have used interpreters in your own heritage site but have you been tempted to see what different kind of approaches could be used? Is a chat with a member of Napoleon''s family more effective than a with a 15th Century puppet?
Get prepared for not just a European Grand Tour of museum theatre!
Loiuml;c Benot has slowly been forcing a highly conservative and traditional museum establishment in France to accept live interpretation as a serious alternative or addition to other forms of historic site interpretation, including in ''shrine'' type sites such as Napoleon''s tomb at the Invalides. He will give the point of view of a French who has gained his professional experience in the UK and developed his activities with a European mind and high standards.
The International Museum Theatre alliance was established in the US in 1990 to promote theatre and live performance as interpretive techniques in cultural institutions. IMTAL - Europe is an affiliated group established to foster live interpretation in museums, galleries, science centres and historic sites across Europe.
IMTAL members include art, science and history museums, historic sites, zoos, and aquaria, as well as the individuals who work in them. The people who join IMTAL are museum, theatre and interpretation professionals; historians, storytellers, actors, interpreters, costumiers, playwrights, directors - anyone who enjoys communicating their passions through performance and live interpretation and interaction with the public.
IMTAL members come together to exchange information, share ideas, provide feedback, and make connections in the interpretation arena. We organise training days in performance skills, storytelling, evaluation techniques, engaging with an audience and research skills. If you are interested in sharing your skills by hosting or contributing to a training day or have requests for an area you would like more training in, then please contact us and we can continue to share resources. Our members host mini-conferences where we have more time and scope to investigate the topic and IMTAL comes together internationally every two years to share interpretive techniques and learn form recent programmes across the globe.
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